Fresh, juicy, ripe fruits, vitamin packed vegetables, exquisite sea food, delicious fish and mouth watering cuts of meat are sold at the colourful market on rue de Poncelet (near Ternes metro station). Opening at 8am and shutting at 8pm you can pop by when ever suits. They sell just about everything imaginable. Test out their oysters, cured meats and French cheeses. When done admiring and tasting all the wonders the market offers, rest your legs at one of the cafes or patisseries treating yourself to a sugary delight or two. Chocolate eclairs, fruit tarts or brownies are just a few of the numerous options available. Half the fun is choosing your not so light snack. At the corner of the market Street is the trendy Dada bar – this is always busy, fun and exciting at night. During the day the bar becomes a cafe / restaurant.
After getting your market food fix one must try a traditional Parisian restaurant. French cuisine has an air of elegance, from the smart waiters who serve you with profound eticet, to the red wine that melts in your mouth and sends a warm tingle down your spine. Not to mention the food itself which is of an extremely high quality. Chose from an extensive array of pates, stews and meats. There is something for everyone. We chose a selection of pates for our starter: chicken liver, duck and rabbit. All tasting divine on a piece of freshly baked baguette. The soft bread combined with the flavoursome meaty soft paste was delightful. Next up was a beef borginogn cooked in red wine with boiled potatoes. The tender meat and soft carrots, mushrooms and gravy soaked up the potatoes perfectly making a delicious dinner. The French fries were the best I have ever tasted – crispy, thin and cooked with precision. To top things off a perfect golden glazed creme brulé was for dessert. This with a generous scoop of creme ended our fantastic French cuisine experience.
While dining hearing Parisians natter amongst themselves whilst sipping their large glasses of wine added to the local experience. On the table next to us a famous politician debated the quality of her meat with the waiter. Now my French language skills are practically non existent but I could tell that neither party was content. The chef defending his meal while the customer was adamant it was not good enough for the likes of herself. It’s fair to say the standards are high in Paris. The restaurant we dined at was named Les Gourmets des Ternes – I highly recommend it.
After all the food has been tried it’s time to get down to some sight seeing. You can walk from the market in rue de Poncelet to the iconic Arc de Triumphe built by Napoleon in 1806 serves as a link between the Louvre museum and the Champs Elise. Looking closely at the intricate sculptures carved into the arc’s rose marble columns you can view Napoleon’s victories. Not only is the arc great to look at from a distance but you can also climb up it, to get some city views across Paris. It is worth going to the Arc de Triumph for a second time in the evening to see it lit up. Shadows cast across the sculpted figures highlights their artistic beauty.
After admiring the impressive Arc de Triumph walk down the commercial Champs Elise – here you will find outrageously, expensive, designer stores. Window shop as much as you desire, viewing the Mercedes Bends car show rooms, elaborate watch shops or sickeningly deer jewellery shops. You will be seeing sparkly diamonds every time you blink for the rest of the day.
At the end of the Champs Elise is a large ferris wheel (rather like the London Eye), more glittery, shiny lights are apparent which light up the wheel with the French flag colours. Hop on for a ride if you so please.
Strolling a little further along you will reach the all important Seine river. Evidence shows that as far back as 4500 BC people used the river to exploit nearby lands. Today, it provides a fantastic walking opportunity for those wanting to get away from the hussel and bustle of Paris life. Pass ornate, elaborate and scenic bridges. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled as lined up along the river are some stunning architectural sights.
Be sure not to miss the Eiffel tower, which can be seen as you walk along the Seine river. If you so wish walk a little way South of the river to get up close to the Eiffel tower. Of course there is the option to take a lift to the top. The Eiffel tower was build in 1889 to impress visitors. It was the tallest building until 1931 when the empire state building was built. It is what Paris is famous for, consequently it is a shame to miss it.
In the evening take the metro to Sentier to find some tasty happy hour cocktails (weeknights) and a bite to eat. The ambience is perfect. Watch people roam along the pedestrianised cobble stoned streets and peer into the fancy cheese shops, be careful not to get too close as the pungent smell may get you. However, if you are feeling daring go inside and request some free samples.
The best way to explore Paris is by foot and metro. In one day it is possible to get a lot in, see tonnes and taste many French delights. Stay tuned for my next post on the Louvre, montnarte and Paris night life.
Photography – C. Stuart. 2016.